Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) include injuries affecting nerves, tendons, joints, spinal discs, and cartilage. For workers, MSD often leads to debilitating pain and injuries that prevent people from returning to their occupations. The work injury lawyers at Therman Law Offices understand that musculoskeletal disorders typically develop over time, and the workplace or work-related tasks contribute to the disorder. Our Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys help injured workers secure compensation and benefits from the state-run workers' compensation program when they are facing wage-loss and medical expenses for their MSD. We appreciate the emotional impact MSD carries, and are here to guide employees through the process of filing and securing a claim for compensation.Musculoskeletal Disorders Caused by Workplace or Work Conditions
Workers suffering musculoskeletal disorder may be out of work for months, and even face permanent disability. Permanent, painful conditions such as arthritis and neuritis are examples of MSD. Performing repetitive forceful tasks, working with the neck in a specific position, or routinely lifting heavy objects can lead to MSD. Overexertion injuries such as lifting and pulling, carrying or throwing objects can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Certain employees, including older workers, are at higher risk of suffering these debilitating conditions.
The first step toward securing workers’ compensation benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is to report the symptoms of a musculoskeletal disorder to an employer. After receiving a medical diagnosis, this should be documented and communicated. More advanced tissue damage may be prevented through the employee’s rest and rehabilitation. It is important for workers to understand that reporting an MSD or accepting a different work assignment to lighter duty during recovery should not lead to reduced medical benefits or loss of pay.
Proving that the workplace or work-conditions caused the musculoskeletal disorder is essential to recovering workers’ compensation. MSD that arises out of and was caused in the course and scope of employment entitles the worker to benefits and compensation. If the employee already suffered MSD, and work aggravated their condition, they would also be eligible for compensation.
Evidence that work-tasks required the employee repeat movements in a repetitive, forceful manner or routinely lift heavy objects supports a causal connection between workplace and medical diagnosis. Prolonged period of work in an unnatural posture, such as kneeling, is commonly recognized as a causal factor in MSD.Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available to Employees Suffering Musculoskeletal Disorders
The severity of a musculoskeletal disorder can vary, and costs for treatment reasonably necessary to treat the condition are covered by workers’ compensation. For those workers unable to work due to their MSD, they may qualify for compensation of lost wages during their period of recovery. Additionally, disability benefits are provided, according to law.
Temporary total disability benefits are appropriate when a worker is unable to return to their work-tasks due to their injury. If restrictions are placed on your work, or you have been released by a physician to work “light duty” but your employer cannot meet these accommodations, you would be entitled to these benefits. Temporary partial disability benefits are available to workers during their period of recovery, capable of performing work in a lesser capacity than pre-injury.
Permanent total disability benefits are available to workers limited from working. For example, a musculoskeletal disorder can lead to the permanent inability to perform weight-bearing activity. If there is a reasonably steady job market for this type of work, then permanent total disability benefits will provide the employee two-thirds of their average weekly wage, tax-free. These types of benefits are available when a physician recommends that the employee is unable to work, or when the worker has undergone rehabilitation and searched for a job but is unable to find employment.
Illinois workers’ compensation laws provide for vocational training, if necessary. Workers unable to return to their occupation due to the symptoms and impact of their MSD may be eligible for occupational assistance. Experienced work injury lawyers can assess the type of benefits you may be entitled to.Discuss the Details of Your Claim with an Attorney in Schaumburg and Wheaton
If you or someone close to you is suffering musculoskeletal disorder, legal help can provide a way to recover benefits and compensation. The lawyers at Therman Law Offices understand the process of filing and securing a claim for benefits, as well as potential challenges posed by employers and insurers. We are proud to represent people in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Norwood Park, Park Ridge, Rosemont, Elmwood Park, Des Plaines, Edison Park, Mt. Prospect, Harwood Heights, as well as Elk Grove Village and Arlington Heights. To learn more, reach us by phone at 773-545-8849 or online.